Tag Archives: Paracelsus

The wayward Paracelsus

JMS Pearce East Yorks, England   Fig 1. Aureolus Philippus Theophrastus von Hohenheim (Paracelsus). Via Wikimedia. Alterius non sit qui suus esse potest Let no man be another’s who can be himself Paracelsus 1552   Paracelsus was the most original, controversial character of the Renaissance,1 who brazenly questioned and condemned the dictates of Galen and […]

The men who defeated syphilis

German zoologist Fritz Schaudinn. Source Fritz Schaudinns, Verlag Leopold Voss, Hamburg und Leipzig 1911. Via Wikimedia. Beginnings The origins of syphilis have been subject to much debate. The disease has been claimed to be thousands of years old and originally to have evolved from yaws. Generally mistaken for leprosy and not recognized as a separate entity, […]

Blood is the life

Saameer Pani Sydney, Australia   The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist. Giovanni di Paolo. 1455/60. The Art Institute of Chicago. Vampire—the very word itself conjures up images of supernatural creatures who look not unlike you and me, prowl about at night, prey on unsuspecting souls, and sink their fangs into innumerable, hapless victims to […]

Fluorescence

Leah Kaminsky Melbourne, Australia The art of medicine cannot be inherited, nor can it be copied from books. – Paracelsus     Photography by Michael My youngest daughter has a lizard called Limmy living on her bedside table. Each time I kiss my girl goodnight, stroke her long, blonde curls and turn off the light, […]

Intercepted letters: the Wandervogel syndrome

Reprinted from The Lancet, Anonymous, “The Wandervogel syndrome,” 1411–1412, December 24, 1966, with permission from Elsevier.   My dear Dean, You seemed surprised in Faculty when I raised objections against extended leave of absence for Johnson to act as visiting professor in Chile. I have been brooding about this business for some time, and here […]

Ramazzini and the birth of occupational medicine

Luciano Daliento Lucia Dal Bianco Gabriella Romeo Italy   Bernardino Ramazzini, considered to be the founder of occupational and industrial medicine, was born in 1633 in Capri, a little town in the north of Italy, known nowadays because of its ceramics. Following the important innovations of the Paduan school of anatomy (Vesalius, Fabricius d’Acquapendente, and […]

Paracelsus: physician and alchemist

Alexandru Gh. Sonoc Sibiu, Romania   Paracelsus, 1935 F. Görtitz. Brukenthal National Museum, Sibiu, Romania. This painting shows the famous alchemist and physician Paracelsus holding a retort in his hands and standing in front of a furnace on which is placed a glass balloon. In front of the furnace a pair of bellows lie on […]

Andreas Vesalius: Wesel to Basel

Wyn Beasley Wellington, New Zealand   Leuven University in 1429 The Witing family—or Witjing or Witincx; spelling was capricious in those days—originated in Wesel, at the junction of the Rhine and Lippe rivers, and its members were court physicians. Peter is supposed to have attended the Emperor Frederik III, who reigned 1440-1493, and he translated […]